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ZEMARAIM (Heb. צְמָרַיִם), city belonging to the tribe of Benjamin and listed among the northern group of its cities next to Beth-El (Josh. 18:22). It probably gave its name to the Mount Zemaraim of ii Chronicles 13:4, which was mentioned in connection with a battle between Abijah of Judah and Jeroboam i on the border between Judah and Israel; the text presumes that the place was south of Beth-El. In Shishak's list of conquered towns, it comes after Gibeon and was probably the first Israelite city conquered after his assault on Judah. Zemaraim, therefore, was apparently a city and a mountain in the vicinity of Ramallah. Clermont-Ganneau has suggested that Raʾs al-Zemara between al-Ṭayyiba and Rammūn is Mt. Zemaraim; for the city itself, Raʾs al-Tāḥūna in al-Bīra has been suggested. The tell occupies one of the highest points in the area and has remains of fortifications and Iron Age pottery.


G. Dalman, in: pjb, 21 (1925), 58; Clermont-Ganneau, Arch, 2 (1899), 289; B. Mazar, in: vt Supplement, 4 (1957), 57ff.; Aharoni, Land, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]